New Orleans, LA – LeBron James made seven 3-pointers en route to 36 points and the Miami Heat clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 108-89 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.
Dwyane Wade added 17 points and nine assists for the Heat (57-15), who had their 27-game winning streak snapped in Chicago by the Bulls on Wednesday night.
"We talked about not having a letdown or an exhale, but rather to focus on competing and revealing our character in a game like this and trying to get better," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Norris Cole and Chris Bosh tallied 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the win.
Ryan Anderson ended with 20 points for the Hornets, who fell to 3-3 on a seven-game homestand. Eric Gordon had 17 points, Brian Roberts donated 13 points and Anthony Davis recorded 11 points and four steals.
New Orleans had won six in a row at home against Miami.
Trailing by two, 11-9, with 6:42 left in the first quarter, the Heat went on a 13-2 run to take control. Udonis Haslem capped the burst with a pair of free throws, making it 22-13 with 2:41 to go.
James helped increase Miami's margin by making three straight 3-pointers. He added a free throw with 9.4 seconds remaining to make it 32-22 after 12 minutes.
"When a guy like LeBron gets going like that, any kind of defense isn't going to help you when he's shooting from 25 feet away," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said.
The Heat started the second stanza on a 17-5 run. James made three more 3- pointers during the surge that Chris Andersen capped with a slam, making it a 49-27 game with 6:31 left.
James scored 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting in the first half, helping Miami take a 60-43 edge.
The Heat started the second half on a 10-2 run to increase their margin to 70-45. Miami took an 81-60 lead into the fourth, where they cruised to the win.
Miami has won four straight against the Hornets ... New Orleans guard Greivis Vasquez (ankle) missed the game ... The Heat were without the services of guard Mario Chalmers (ankle) ... Miami shot 60.9 percent from the field and went 14-of-27 from beyond the arc.